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As a business operating in today’s increasingly regulated markets, you need to manage your commercial risk while achieving your business objectives. Your success is built upon the effectiveness of your relationships with third parties, whether they are your customers, suppliers or representatives. Sector-specific contractual arrangements in the context of the market in which you operate are key. With over 350 lawyers across 60 office globally, including 60 lawyers based in the UK, our multidisciplinary team advises on the full range of complex, high-value, local and multi-jurisdictional commercial agreements.  

We organise our teams around your industries, including financial services, consumer products, energy, hotels and leisure, infrastructure and projects, lifesciences, real estate and construction, technology, telecoms and media.

Whether you require advice on IP licensing, supply arrangements, services agreements, e-commerce, IT or telecoms agreements, manufacturing agreements, consumer sales, software licensing, outsourcing, agency and distribution agreements or any bespoke commercial arrangement, our specialists can guide you towards the best business outcome for you. Our team also regularly provides advice on related matters such as data protection, intellectual property, and advertising and marketing.

We are often asked to advise on highly complex and high-value transactions on the very cutting edge of industry and legal thought, often involving the deployment of new and innovative contracting models, processes and technologies. Our approach is always to cut through the complexities to ensure the transaction makes practical sense for all parties and fully realises your aspirations.

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CMS stands out for its global reach and sector focus. The 'can do' team has a 'great understanding of the legal position, the deal, the commercial reality and the regulatory framework'.

Legal 500 UK, 2015

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    Advertising, Marketing & Sponsorship

    Working to raise your businesses’ profile is an exciting place to be, and as you work with your in-house marketing team or creative agency to develop your advertising, marketing and sponsorship strategies, it is also important to consider all the legal and regulatory requirements, including those for the industry in which you work.   

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    Commercial Contracts

    Commercial contracts are the fundamental basis upon which any business develops and grows. Getting it wrong can have serious consequences for your business. Whether the agreements relevant to your business concern the procurement or the supply of goods, technology, information or services, or your business processes such as licensing, distribution, agency and resale, you will need legal advisers who understand your commercial imperatives and can deliver results efficiently and cost-effectively based on market knowledge and experience.

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    Data Protection & Freedom of Information

    The EU data protection landscape is shifting with a radical new regulatory framework on the horizon. Our global data protection expertise allows us to handle the very largest and most complex multi-jurisdictional matters. 

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    Health & Safety

    Health & Safety is of paramount importance to all businesses. As an increasingly regulated area, every employer must comply with health and safety rules to protect employees, contractors, visitors and the general public. These regulations also put responsibility on all employees, so it is vital that everyone is aware of the relevant legislation.

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    Many organisations look to outsource business functions to help drive their business’ growth, achieve quality improvements, increase efficiency and manage costs. The decision to outsource elements of a business is often complex - finding the right service provider, ensuring the right set up, contracting for appropriate performance incentives and ensuring good governance are just a few of the considerations.

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    Law-Now: Commercial


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    FCA and Japanese Regulator Agree FinTech Co-operation Framework
    On 9 March 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it had agreed a co-operation framework with its Japanese equivalent, the Financial Services Agency of Japan (JFSA). The co-operation framework aims to promote innovation in both Japan and.
    Spotlight on vertical restrictions?
    Summary The CMA recently updated its register of warning and advisory letters, which are sent to businesses where the CMA suspects that practices may be breaching competition law but a full formal investigation is not justified under its prioritisation principles.
    Spotlight on vertical restrictions?
    Summary The CMA recently updated its register of warning and advisory letters, which are sent to businesses where the CMA suspects that practices may be breaching competition law but a full formal investigation is not justified under its prioritisation principles.
    Spotlight on vertical restrictions?
    Summary The CMA recently updated its register of warning and advisory letters, which are sent to businesses where the CMA suspects that practices may be breaching competition law but a full formal investigation is not justified under its prioritisation principles.
    Caught in the crosshairs: CMA has the construction sector in its...
    On 28 February, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced an investigation into suspected anti-competitive behaviour in the provision of supplies to the construction industry.   This is now one of two Competition Act cases the CMA is investigating.
    Campaign Decommissioning - Issues with Multi-operator Contracts
    Multi-operator decommissioning contracts could play an increasingly important role in the decommissioning of oil and gas assets. But the challenges and issues raised can be significant. In the UK, the OGA recently launched a search for operators to voluntarily.
    ICO draft guidance on consent under the GDPR published
    The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has opened for consultation its draft guidance on consent under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The ICO is accepting responses until 31 March 2017.
    Rent Concession Letters: A Warning for Landlords
    A recent decision of the High Court in Vivienne Westwood Limited v Conduit Street Developments Limited [2017] highlights the importance of careful consideration of the terms to be included in any side letter between landlord and tenant.
    Asymmetric jurisdiction clauses upheld by Commercial Court
    The English High Court has held that asymmetric jurisdiction clauses are valid and are exclusive jurisdiction clauses for the purposes of Brussels 1 Recast overriding previous uncertainty following a decision of the French courts.
    Hamburg Rules on jurisdiction not a block to an anti-suit injunct...
    In Aline Tramp SA v Jordan International Insurance Company (CL-2016-000263) and The London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Limited v Jordan International Insurance Company (CL-2016-000264), a Claimant vessel owner and insurer sought anti-suit.
    Avoiding the "death spiral": High Court finds for MasterCard in i...
    MasterCard has prevailed in ten High Court actions (heard together) brought against it by UK high street retailers, in the latest instalment of the multilateral interchange fee (“MIF”) litigation. In a judgment of 30 January 2017, the High Court found that.
    Decommissioning campaign - issues with late life asset transfers
    Decommissioning has been big news in the oil and gas sector over the last year – the potential cost to the taxpayer, the risk of early decommissioning in response to the oil price crash and as a result of associated corporate insolvencies, and the dangers of.
    India Budget 2017 - 2018
    On 1 February, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented India’s annual Union Budget for 2017-2018 (the “Budget”) for the fiscal year beginning 1 April 2017. The central aim in this year’s Budget appears to focus on the most vulnerable with increased spending.
    Reminder: Don’t forget your modern slavery and human trafficking...
    It is now over a year since section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 came into force. Many large organisations have already published their annual modern slavery and human trafficking statement. Organisations that had their financial year-end falling between.
    New regulation comes into force supporting creation of a European...
    The new regulation n°655/2014 supporting the creation of a European bank account preservation order procedure came into force on 18 January 2017. This is now enforceable throughout the Member States of the European Union, excluding the United Kingdom and Denmark.
    India and Singapore amend tax treaty
    On 30 December 2016, the governments of India and Singapore signed the Third Protocol to amend the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (“DTAA”) between the two countries. The amendment has been outlined in press releases made by the respective governments (“Press.
    The Court of Appeal has considered the test for implied terms in...
    Background The Court of Appeal has reiterated that the starting point for the court when considering the existence of an implied term is to give effect to the parties’ intentions in relation to express terms of the contract.
    Choice of English law presides in ISDA Master Agreements – Court...
    The Court of Appeal has upheld an earlier decision of the High Court that the law applicable to interest rate swaps entered into between a Portuguese bank and a number of Portuguese transport operators is English law.